Common Acronyms


Building Information Modeling.

The process of modeling and communicating the structure of a building in detail to benefit the entire building lifecycle. BIM facilitates the exchange and visualization of building information in digital 3D format between all building disciplines to ensure integrated project delivery (IPD). The acronym BIM is also used for the terms building information model and building information management.


Computer Aided Design

Using computers to design products. CAD software is available for generic design or specialized uses, such as architectural design. More complex forms of CAD are solid modeling and parametric modeling, which allows objects to be created with real-world characteristics. In parametric modeling, objects have meaningful relationships with each other.



Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing.

Refers to HVAC Duct (Dry Systems), Piping (wet systems) and related equipment.

Also known as Building Services Systems. May include Fire Protection and Controls.



Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning.

The technology of indoor environmental comfort.

Refrigeration is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation as HVAC&R or HVACR


Virtual Design Construction

The management of integrated multi-disciplinary performance models of design-construction projects, including the product (i.e., facilities), work processes and organization of the design - construction - operation


Integrated Project Delivery

Project delivery method that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.


File format used for 2D and 3D CAD data developed by Autodesk, Inc. See AutoCAD


File format created using Revit.

A building information modeling (BIM) program; a 3D building design that may contain floor plans, elevations, sections, or other, which can all be viewed on the fly as a fully rendered 3D scene; may also includes project settings and related data.


File format for Navisworks.

Program used for reviewing and simulating architectural and or mechanical designs; may contain CAD models, camera viewpoints, animations, and user comments and or relevant data, used for presentations and for showing clashes between CAD designs.


File format supported by CAD programs, such as Bentley Systems' MicroStation and by Tekla Structures.


Portable Document Format

Cross platform document format developed by Adobe Systems. It is now the de facto standard for document exchange.


Commonly used object-oriented file format with a data model developed by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) to facilitate interoperability in the building industry.


Bill Of Material.

The list of components that make up a structure, assembly or system. To the MEP trades it means a list of the pipe, fittings and related components that are required to fabricate and install a given system.